Blog Archive

Thursday 5 December 2019

NATSA Newsletter - Term 2 by John Bowyer

Please check out the latest NATSA newsletter, written by our very own John Bowyer. With a specific focus on SEND, his bitesize research focuses on how we can best support our SEND students moving forward.

Within our classrooms:

Cognitive Load Theory 
1) Students gain a lot from studying worked examples and this reduces cognitive load. Before you ask students to complete a problem or a task for the first time, pair it with an answer to a near identical question. The aim is to gradually increase the independent student practice as the students become more proficient. 

2) Cut out all inessential information and present all essential information together. For example, if you are presenting a step by step approach to students on PowerPoint, ensure that all the steps are visible together on one PPT slide and not spread over several. 

3) Talk over pictures to describe them to students but not over text. Students will not be able to read and understand the text on a board while the teacher is talking to them. 

Dual Coding 
4) One suggested way is to use dual coding with students when revising materials. For example, when coming up with a flow chart on the lead up to the First World War, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand could be a note on the chart and a simple drawing of a stick man being crossed out. The idea is that combining words and visuals gives the brain two ways two remember something and improves retention. 

Children won’t gain a complete understanding of probability by playing dice, for example. But, if children learn in fits and starts and we leave off teaching something until children are able to understand it perfectly, we might be leaving it too late.

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